How to speed up file downloads on Mac computers

Tips to always keep in mind

There are a series of factors that, to a greater or lesser extent, directly interfere with the fact that the downloads you make on your Mac may be more or less fast. Below we detail these elements that you should always take into consideration to help your computer be faster in these tasks.

Always have the latest software

Having macOS updated has many benefits, such as being able to enjoy the latest visual and functional news of the system, as well as having secured security patches that protect the device. However, it also intervenes in the fact that give stability to the system and improve a multitude of processes, among which is also having an improvement in the internet connection, either via WiFi or cable. Obviously the hardware will remain the same, but the software should be in its latest version so that it can be maximized.

Remember that you must go to System Preferences> Software Update to find the latest version of macOS ready for download and later installation. If that menu does not appear, it is probably because you have a version equal to or earlier than macOS High Sierra (10.13), in which case you must go to the App Store and enter the “Updates” tab.

looking for macos update

Internet router checks

Another of the main architects of the internet connection and possibly the most important, is the router that allows you to connect. Regardless of whether your company is offering you fiber optic or ADSL services, the latter being lower in speeds than the first, there are a series of tips that you should take into account to verify that it is at full capacity.

First of all is run an internet speed test that allows you to know exactly what figures your computer is reaching. This could also help you to consult your telephone operator if there is any incident in case you are experiencing a lower speed than the contracted one, being able to even detect if the router could have some kind of problem that requires replacing or repairing it.


The most advisable thing is always to be connected via cable Because that is how you get a higher speed and the downloads will be much faster, but in any case you must make sure that it is in good condition. If you use a WiFi network For this, it is advisable that you are at a good distance from the router and that sporadically, if it is for a heavy discharge in particular, you consider bringing the Mac closer to being able to connect it by cable.

Check how many devices are connected

This point is important, since the more devices you have connected to the network, the slower the connection will be on them. There are some accessories such as home automation devices and others that do not have such a high consumption, but that together in the end can cause you to notice a certain delay. If your router offers a single network, unfortunately you will not be able to do anything, since we understand that disconnecting the rest of the devices can be too big a hassle, although if it is to do it on time in a Mac download, you could do it.

Now if your router offers more than one WiFi network It is advisable that you connect your Mac only to the best of the networks, thus prioritizing that the highest speed is that of the computer. It will also be important that check the security of the router with the aim of preventing other people from accessing it, for which the fundamental thing is to have a secure password.

apple family

MacOS tweaks to speed up the internet

There are certain adjustments or tips related to the operating system and the programs used that can be very helpful when trying to download faster.

Choose well the browser you are going to use

Fortunately, there are many internet browsers that we find available in macOS, either within the App Store or through the official pages of the developers. Google ChromeDespite consuming many RAM resources, it is one of the most efficient at this. The least known Yandex It is also surprising for being one of the fastest, although in the end the most recommended browser ends up being the native of Safari.

The browser developed by Apple itself is one of the most efficient in macOS and has very good speed rates when downloading files, even when they are very heavy. Although if you use this you should make certain adjustments how to delete the cache memory that it has stored in order to optimize its performance even more. Although in the end the important thing is that is up to date, something that goes hand in hand with the macOS version, so if it is updated, the browser will be as well.

Safari on a MacBook

Close the apps you don’t use

Normally we use dozens of applications on devices such as the Mac and, today, the vast majority require an internet connection to work. While some may not consume excessively when they are being used directly, the truth is that being in the background they continue to consume and although it is true that individually it is not too much, as a whole they can affect them.

That is why we recommend close them correctly, and that the closing is complete and not simply by means of the corresponding button in the upper left part of the window. To close it completely, it is recommended that, while you are in it, press the command + Q key combination. You can also force exit alternatively or if the program does not respond when closing, having to go to the Apple menu in the upper left corner, where this option will appear.

force exit mac

Disable some login items

When you turn on your Mac there are certain programs or actions that, by default, are activated and start working without you having to open or activate them in any way. Many of these require connecting to the internet and are therefore strong candidates to consume the internet and slow down downloads. If you disable those that are not necessary, you will win twice, since in addition to faster internet, you will also enjoy faster browsing through the system.

To do this you must go to System Preferences> Users and groups and go to the “Startup Items” tab. Once here, you will be able to see all the elements that start up when you turn on the Mac. To delete them, just select them with the pointer and then press the ‘-‘ button at the bottom. It is possible that during some part of this process you will be required to enter your user’s password. After this you can restart the computer and those elements that you deleted will no longer open automatically.

mac startup item

Prevent iCloud syncing

Having iCloud synchronized with the Mac is very interesting to be able to always have the changes made on other devices available in relation to photos, notes, calendars, reminders and even files from iCloud Drive. That is why deactivating it can become counterproductive on many occasions. However, it can be an important benefit when it comes to speeding up downloads, so it is recommended that you temporarily disable it when you want to perform this task.

For this you just have to go to System Preferences> Apple ID. Once you are here you must go to the “iCloud” tab and uncheck all those apps that you want that are not continuously synchronizing and therefore consuming the internet. We insist that this may not be positive if you want to have certain information on hand, but luckily you can then follow the same settings route to activate it again once the download is finished.

icloud sync mac

What to do if the file is very heavy

There are times that not even applying all these tips will make the download fast, which happens especially when the file is very large or the servers on which the download depends are very slow. In these cases the best recommendation is to arm yourself with patience, although there are a couple of settings that we advise you to configure if you do not want to be aware of it and that the Mac turns off.

The first of these settings is configure economizer Mac, especially if you have a MacBook and you want it not to consume excess battery (despite having it connected to the power). Therefore, you must go to System Preferences> Energy Saver and configure the screen to go to sleep after the minutes you consider, although you must have the checkbox checked “Activate the computer to allow access to the network” so that, as the name indicates, the computer remains connected to the internet even if it goes to sleep.

mac economizer

Another option that we advise you is to schedule automatic Mac shutdown if you want it to be when the download is finished. Of course, this can be “dangerous” if we consider that the computer can be turned off before the download is finished, so we advise you to add more time in the configuration than the download itself, in order to make sure that it is not will turn off earlier. You can also configure this from the previous settings panel, only in this case you must go to the “Schedule” tab.

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